Gaby Tanaka: OHA Compliance Specialist

When you talk about PERS, you're talking about Gaby.

I work in the state Public Health Division and it is my job to visit clinics around the state to ensure they are following state and federal guidelines for the children’s immunization program. I really love my job because I feel like I’m making a positive change in the world and there are so many people in public health who care deeply about our community. In a lot of places you work, especially in the private sector, people are just there for the paycheck.

If my PERS benefits were cut, I simply wouldn’t have a retirement. It’s that simple. I would also feel deeply betrayed by the leadership of our state. I accepted this position for two reasons: first, I want to help people and be of service. And second, I saw what happened to my parents and I am terrified that the same thing could happen to me. My father is in his seventies and still works manual labor on the factory floor because he cannot afford to retire. Working until I drop is a fate I was hoping to escape. On my salary, though, I would have an extremely difficult time making up for the PERS cuts that I’ve seen so far. As an OPSRP member, I would be deeply affected. Over the course of my career I would lose most of my promised individual retirement account that I could never hope to make that up.

It makes me sad to have been working so hard for so long only to have the rug pulled out from under me. I would ask that the people in Salem think twice before decimating the retirements of people like me.


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